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ZAGG Pocket Keyboard review: Little annoyances keep it out of contention

Séamus Bellamy | July 1, 2016
Zagg normally produces some stellar products, but this sn't one of them.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

I’ve had a lot of luck with ZAGG’s smartphone and tablet accessories in the past. I’ve forked over close to $300 to outfit my iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air in their Rugged iPad Keyboard Cases. And for a long time, the company’s ZAGG Keys Universal Keyboard found its way into my backpack whenever I needed to type on the fly. As such, I was looking forward to taking the ZAGG Pocket Keyboard for a spin. Unfortunately, the user experience it offers is less than ideal, for a number of reasons.

Zagg Pocket - Open Keyboard View

Design

Similar to other portable bluetooth keyboards like the Jorno, the ZAGG Pocket folds up to make it easier to carry around. While closed, it measures 8.8 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches—about the same dimensions of one of those sharing-sized Walmart chocolate bars we’ve all shame-eaten in the past. When deployed, its dimensions change to 8.8 x 7 x 1.75 inches. Much of the keyboard’s height when opened comes from its built-in stand, which is big enough to support most smartphones or tablets. However, while it handles the weight of a 9.7-inch iPad Pro or Surface 3, I couldn’t help but feel that using tablets that much wider than the keyboard and its stand was precarious.

While the built-in stand sounds like a great idea, it’s actually semi-irritating during use. You only get one viewing angle, making it problematic to see what you’re typing when using the keyboard in close proximity to your body—like on an airplane tray table, for example. Additionally, the ledge that folds out of the stand to keep your tablet or phone from falling over is only wide enough to accommodate devices without a protective case on them. Anyone who prefers the protection of a Griffin Survivor, Lifeproof, or Otterbox case for their device will likely find the ZAGG Pocket pretty useless.

ZAGG Keyboard folded view

The ZAGG Pocket is constructed out of aluminum and some fairly decent-quality plastic. But it doesn’t feel nearly as sturdy as the Jorno or EC Tech keyboards do. I found that I was able to bend the ZAGG Pocket’s aluminum shell with a minimal amount of fingertip pressure. I could also flex the whole thing while it was folded up. That’s a level of fragility that doesn’t make me hopeful for the keyboard’s longevity. At the time that this roundup was written, the ZAGG Pocket could be had for anywhere between $50 and $70—and for that kind of money, I’d have likes to see a higher level of durability from it. However, because ZAGG opted to use such lightweight materials in the keyboard’s construction, the Pocket does only weigh 6.8 ounces.

 

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